S. Neil Hosenball, Former NASA General Counsel, Moon Treaty and Remote Sensing Principles Negotiator, dies at 84

December 29, 2009 at 10:04 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events, Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

By Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

S. Neil Hosenball was a major contributor to space law. I first met Neil in 1988, the year after I began teaching space law. Neil was a good lawyer and a good man. He always had the time to answer my questions and explain space law to me. Over the years I had the opportunity to discuss a wide variety of subjects with him: joint endeavor agreements, a legal mechanism established by him to facilitate private participation with NASA; the concept of the province of all mankind; and, of course, the Moon Treaty which he negotiated for the United States. He also served as the U.S. negotiator for the U.N. The Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space (resolution 41/65 of 3 December 1986) (Principles).

In 2002, I, along with one of my former students Carol Butler, who was then working for the SIGNAL Corporation and NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project, interviewed Neil regarding his work on the Principles. Mr. Kenneth D. Hodgkins of the U.S. Department of State followed Neil in this work. We also interviewed him and the results of these interviews were published in The United Nations Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space: A Legislative History – Interviews of Members of the United States Delegation. While working with Neil on organizing and editing the material in this book, I experienced his professionalism first hand and consider it an honor.

Source: Washington Post

S. Neil Hosenball, 84, the general counsel of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1975 until his retirement in 1985, died Dec. 23 at his home in Arlington County. He had cancer.

Mr. Hosenball was a 25-year veteran of the space agency, where he became the chief lawyer. He worked on treaties for the peaceful use of outer space, among other issues.

After retiring from NASA, he accepted a one-year appointment at the University of Colorado as the first director of the Center for Space Law and Policy, an interdisciplinary group at the university and its law school. He then spent several years as a partner in the Washington office of Davis, Graham and Stubbs, a Denver-based law firm, where he helped start a space-law practice.

Seymour Neil Hosenball was born in New York and served in the Army in Europe during World War II. He was a 1948 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1951 graduate of Harvard University law school.

He was a lawyer in Cleveland before joining NASA, where he was deputy general counsel for many years. He was a 1983 recipient of a Presidential Rank Award, bestowed on senior federal executives for outstanding work.

His marriage to Rosalyn Green Hosenball ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 20 years, Gitta Haber Hosenball of Arlington; three children from his first marriage, Mark Hosenball of Annandale, Robin Kidder of Burlington, Ky., and Kim Bennett of Alpharetta, Ga.; a sister; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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